On Becoming a Father

There are things that I always thought I would be, but life continued in a way that I let go of those expectations. Little did I realize that I had beside me a partner who would not allow me to let go of my dream of becoming a parent. I admit, one of the scariest things is that I will be now be a father at 50 and already my fear is that I want to ensure my son has all that he needs to face the world. I worry I may not be there for his entire journey, but then again my partner looks at me with her determined gaze, and I let go of all this and get ready to take the plunge.

It awes me still that my wife is open about our journey of surrogacy, and wants others in our community to be aware that there are other options other than natural pregnancy. It takes vulnerability and courage to share something so intimate, and I look at my wife and our families and the cocoon of love they provided that allowed us to make this fantasy into a reality. To say, we did this by ourselves would be plain denial. As they say, it takes a village, and we can say with pride that we got that covered.

I also use my fears to push me to work out, new reasons to get endurance rather than just do a marathon or keep up with my crossfit friends. I have a son coming soon who will challenge me in every way so I better get ready physically, emotionally and spiritually. No longer can I snooze or be tired because tired will be the status quo (as I have been reminded myriads of times).

But the joy of becoming a father is settling in, and I look forward to the challenges with a smile because I know those are the normal pre race jitters, I know we provide him with a loving home, amazing families and friends, and he will know he is not alone. He will know unconditional love just like we have, and I fall in love deeper with my wife who made this happen through her sheer will.

Papa is here, son. He’s got you.


On Unsaid/Unmet Expectations

This past month I finished I finished Brene Browns Atlas of the Heart which struck a deep chord inside me as it discussed that much of our conflict with loved ones occurs due to unsaid or unmet expectations. It takes time, presence, patience, and taking a deep look at ourselves to determine that the fight over connection is truly about. When our significant other asks for something, and we resist or dismiss the request, what else is really going on there?

I know I like to avoid conflict, yet that avoidance does not serve me in my relationships as it can make others feel not heard or seen. It is painful to be called out, or hear grievances, and far too often, I am too busy preparing a counterpoint rather than listening for the unsaid or unmet expectation. And it goes the other way, too. When I fail to express what I truly feel or state my expectation, it sets up perfectly an argument that is all surface, mean-spirited, and unhelpful, adding layers on unnecessary pain and hurt instead of providing the relief of true communication.

None of what I read was new, but I know constant reminders of better communication is the only way to build the muscle for connection. I get to learn to not hide or avoid, to make the eye contact even as my body floods with emotions, and I just want to run away or become a quiet ninja. It did not occur to me how painful that can be for the other who is trying to share their feelings.

It is always a challenge to put to practice new or difficult things, and I realize just like working out physically, connected communication requires continual work, and sharing. It is also important to let the other know what you are up to so they can hold you accountable, and perhaps, just maybe, do the same when talking to you. Just like anything, it takes time, and also constant awareness, but I also know the rewards of doing the work.

And so I begin, and hopefully, I can express my unmet/unsaid expectations and also hear the other persons.

Happy Monday!


On Mattering

This past weekend, I missed a good friends 50th in Vegas, and while I felt the FOMO hard as I saw the multiple texts and images, I also felt good in my decision to stay back due to a personal situation that required me to stay close to home. And that missed trip allowed me to go to a local event to another dear friend’s annual event simply called the Kundani Cookout. It’d been a few years since I’d gone, but it was a chance to reconnect with old friends and also make new acquaintances, something I am loath to do as I go into the forced trope of asking “what do you do” or “how do you know xyz” person which guarantees a stilted conversation.

I have never quite managed to be a great networker as I am content to stay in the background, and just blend in or so I thought until the host of the event decided to call me up for his speech and proceed to tell them how I’d influenced him to make a major decision when he was out a bit out of sorts. My first instinct was to shrink away from the attention, but then it hit me that part of growing up is taking in the good with the bad, to allow myself to be acknowledged, to know why he kept inviting me everyone year, has been such a wonderful resource to me in my legal career, to get that he is paying me back not just with words like I did, but action, and it humbled me.

It reminded me that even when we think we are taking small actions, they can have major repercussions in other’s lives, that words matters but more than that, it’s the intention with which they are delivered can have a massive impact. And so this was my lesson for the weekend, and the FOMO disappeared in an instant, and I basked in the realization people remember the good you do to them even if they don’t show it.

It made it clearer that when I despair on whether I am making an impact or not, or being hard on myself for things I didnt get done, I still managed to support others in their dreams and goals, and I will take that as a win any day!

Happy Monday!


On Time Passing

Birthdays and anniversaries are a great way to take stock of one’s life. I know for me it becomes apparent that I need to do a life review upon those type of events. Not just milestone anniversaries or big birthdays, but annually because it begs for a moment to reflect where one is at. This past weekend marked our eleventh year anniversary, and while not a milestone by any stretch of the imagination, it definitely gave me a chance to reconnect, reflect, and review on what I have learned in my eleven years. The short answer: I got a ways to go. The other is that more I learn to communicate effectively, the better my chances on reducing misunderstanding, hurt or disagreement.

It’s a lesson I am still learning because what’s clear to me from the outset is not necessarily clear for others. Assuming the person is on the same wavelength is setting myself up to fail (which happens). Not expressing my feelings in a clear way is guaranteeing an argument. Quietly listening but not responding as acknowledgement can make others feel not heard or seen. Not speaking about what’s really going on with me is a recipe for heated disagreement on the the wrong facts.

And so I continue to learn, and hopefully grow. I still remember a line from my MITT training, what am I pretending not to know, and for me, that is that I am communicating clearly when I am more content being silent, and waiting by some miracle to figure things out. Talking it out, no matter how difficult, is the way to get to clarity and so I get to keep working on that.

Yet anniversaries are great reminders that we are plugging along, learning, growing, loving, and facing new things on the horizon.